All right, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t follow basketball. Nothing against people who do, it’s just not my cup of tea. So to say that I didn’t get caught up in the hype surrounding LeBron James and his decision to sign with the Miami Heat would be an understatement. But from the way everyone’s been talking, apparently this is some kind of an earth-shattering decision, so I guess I’ll throw my 2 cents in.

I may tick some basketball fans off here, but I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. One player became a free agent, and made a decision to change teams. It happens all the time in the sports world, and the entire universe doesn’t come to a standstill every time a free agent signs with a different team. Yes, I understand that he’s an amazing basketball player, and that he’s one of, if not the best player in the game right now. But I just don’t understand everyone worshiping the man like he’s some sort of a basketball god. He’s just a player, and this is a team sport.

What boggles my mind is that LeBron and his PR folks decided to air a one-hour live special on ESPN for the sole purpose of announcing to the world which team he chose–an announcement that took about 4 seconds: “This fall, I’m gonna take my talents to South Beach, and join the Miami Heat.” Why did it take an hour-long broadcast to say that? How about a nice press release, or a news conference, or even a Twitter update? It just seems like the height of arrogance to showcase your decision to that extreme, like it’s some sort of life-changing event for everyone in the world. But obviously plenty of people watched, and plenty of people are talking about it, so what do I know? All I’m saying is that as an outsider to the basketball world, this insane hero-worship (which LeBron himself obviously bought into, otherwise he wouldn’t have agreed to dedicating an hour-long broadcast to himself and his decision) just blows my mind. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but putting this much focus on one individual player seems go against the spirit of a team sport.

That said, although I don’t like the way he went about it, I respect LeBron’s decision, and the reasons he gave for making it. He wants to play alongside a couple of other great players on a team that he believes will give him a shot at winning a championship or two. In doing this, he’s accepting the fact that he won’t be the only superstar on his team, and that he’ll have to share the spotlight with two more stars. After announcing his decision, he made this comment: “you become a superstar individually, but you become a champion as a team, and I understand that.” All that tells me that this dude is a team player, and he’s more interested in playing hard and winning the game than he is about his own glory and his personal stats. Obviously I don’t know LeBron, and I don’t follow basketball enough to know whether that’s the way he actually plays, but going on what I heard from his speech, I respect that. Basketball, like any other team sport, is about winning as a team, not about personal glory.

And as to the owner of the Cavaliers, and all the Cleveland fans running around with their panties in a wad over this… get over it! The guy is a free agent, which means he’s not under contract, and he’s not in any way obligated to stay with the Cavaliers. But fans all across Cleveland are burning his jerseys and cursing his name, and Dan Gilbert, the Cavs’ owner, wrote an open letter to fans that was absolutely brutal toward LeBron–calling him “disloyal” and “cowardly,” claiming that his leaving was a “heartless and callous action,” and that he’ll be haunted by bad karma until he “does right by Cleveland.” Or, to put his words in simpler English, “WAAAAHHHHHHH!!” Seriously, grow up. Again, he has no obligation to stay with Cleveland. Just because he’s a great player doesn’t mean that you have exclusive rights to him for all eternity.

It’s not betrayal, it’s business, and when it comes down to it, the only person whose opinion really matters is LeBron’s. If he wants to play in Miami with a team where he thinks he can win some championships, more power to him! It’s his choice, and his alone. He was well within his rights to do what he did, and his reasons for doing it were completely understandable. Heck, if I was the best player in the game and I had been playing with a team for 7 years without a championship, you better believe I’d be thinking about making a move too. Now, I think making an hour-long spectacle of his decision to leave Cleveland was a bit of a slap in the face to all his fans there, but there was nothing wrong with the fact that he left.

So that’s just my perspective on the issue, speaking as somebody completely outside the basketball world. I support the dude’s decision, and I wish him the best in Miami.

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